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Bible Commentaries

Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Judges 13

Verse 1

The Philistines have been mentioned as oppressors of Israel in Judges 3:31; Judges 10:7, Judges 10:11; and the Israelite worship of the gods of the Philistines is spoken of in Judges 10:6. But this is the first time that we have any detailed history in connection with the Philistines. They continned to be the prominent enemies of Israel until the time of David.

Forty years - The Philistine dominion began before the birth of Samson Judges 13:5, and was in force during Samson’s twenty years’ judgeship Judges 14:4; Judges 15:20. The 40 years are, therefore, about coincident with Samson’s life.

Verse 2

Zorah - See the marginal reference.

His wife was barren - To mark more distinctly the high providential destiny of the child that was eventually born. Compare the similar circumstances of the birth of Isaac, Jacob, Samuel, and John the Baptist.

Verse 5

A Nazarite - See the marginal reference. and note. The common Nazarite vow was for a limited time, like Paul’s Acts 18:18; Acts 21:23-44.21.26. Others, like Samuel 1 Samuel 1:11, were Nazarites for life.

Verse 6

A man of God - The designation of a prophet, of frequent use in the books of Samuel and Kings 1Sa 2:27; 1 Samuel 9:6-9.9.8, 1 Samuel 9:10; 1Ki 12:22; 1 Kings 13:1, 1 Kings 13:5-11.13.6, 1 Kings 13:11, and applied to Timothy by Paul in the New Testament 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 3:17.

His countenance - Rather, “his appearance,” as the word is rendered in Daniel 10:18.

Verse 12

Translate, “What shall be the manner (or ordering) of the child, and what shall be his work (or exploits).” The original message of the Angel had given information on these two points:

(1) how the child was to be brought up, namely, as a Nazarite;

(2) what he should do, namely, begin to deliver Israel.

Manoah desires to have the information repeated (compare 1 Samuel 17:26-9.17.27, 1 Samuel 17:30). Accordingly, in Judges 13:13 the Angel refers to, and enlarges upon, his former injunctions.

Verse 14

Compare Numbers 6:4. In both passages the vine is described by the somewhat unusual though more accurate term, “vine of the wine” - the grape-bearing vine - to distinguish it from the wild cucumber vine 2 Kings 4:39, or other plants to which the name vine was applied.

Verse 15

The language of Manoah, like that of Gideon Judges 6:18, seems to indicate some suspicion that his visitor was more than human. The word rendered “made ready,” is also the proper word for “offering a sacrifice,” and is so used by the Angel in the next verse. By which it appears that the Angel understood Manoah to speak of offering a kid as a burnt-offering. Hence, his caution, “thou must offer it unto the Lord.” (Compare Revelation 19:10; Revelation 22:8; Acts 10:25-44.10.26.)

Verse 17

Do thee honor - If applied to a man, it would be by gifts, such for instance as Balak promised to the prophet Balaam Numbers 22:17, and such as were usually given to seers 1Sa 9:7-8; 2 Kings 5:5, 2 Kings 5:15 : if to God, it would be by sacrifices Isaiah 43:23.

Verse 18

Secret - Rather, “wonderful,” as in the margin. In Judges 13:19 the Angel “did wondrously,” probably as the Angel that Appeared to Gideon had done, bringing fire from the rock. See the marginal references and notes.

Verse 24

Samson - The etymology is doubtful. Perhaps it comes from a word signifying “to minister,” in allusion to his Nazaritic consecration to the service of God.

Verse 25

In the camp of Dan - Rather, “Mahaneh-Dan” (see the margin). The impulses of the Spirit of the Lord perhaps took the shape of burning indignation at the subjection of his brethren, and thoughts and plans for their deliverance, but especially showed themselves in feats of strength (Judges 14:6; Judges 15:14; Judges 16:30. Compare Acts 7:23-44.7.25).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Judges 13". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bnb/judges-13.html. 1870.